In some ways, Iceland is simply magical. Its location conjures images of an iced-over piece of land at the top of the world. But what many travelers don’t know is that Iceland's combination of hot and cold make this country a mystifying destination. Iceland is technically part of Europe – a Scandinavian country about the size of Kentucky or England. And despite assumptions, Iceland is not all…well, ice. There is a unique yin-yang to Iceland that only those travelers booking flights to Iceland will be privileged to discover.
From glacier-covered-volcanoes and steaming hot outdoor pools, to 24-hour days of pure sunshine, Iceland is nothing if not unique. The people speak the ancient Norse and the weather rarely dips below the mid-20s, even in the winter. During the winter, there is about four hours of daylight and January only sees about three sunny days the entire month. Still, about 300,000 people call Iceland home and visitors booking Iceland flights and accommodations will be welcomed with warm hearts to this country at the top of the world. Need another reason to fly to Iceland? According to an annual U.N. report published in 2007, Iceland was named the most desirable country to live in.
From November through February, temperatures in Iceland drop below freezing, but in summer the highs average 50 F and can climb higher than 75 F. It rains almost two-thirds of the year.
Best Time to Fly to Iceland
Whether you’re braving the winter cold or staying up all night in the summer sun, there’s no wrong time to book a flight to Iceland.
Peak Season: In the summer months, when the sun is out for nearly 24 hours and the briskness of winter has finally melted, travelers book flights to Iceland in droves. . Book your Iceland flights and accommodations in advance to ensure your spot under the sun.
Off-peak Season: Don’t let the frigid winter winds keep you from an enchanting Iceland vacation: Cheap flights to Iceland tend to be more available in the colder months when the sun peeks out for only a few hours. During the fall and spring, flights to Iceland are packed with travelers heading to witness spectacular views of the Northern Lights.
Getting around Iceland
Booking an Iceland flight, be it domestic or international, is the most dependable mode of transport in winter. Iceland’s network of busses is the most efficient way to get around the country during the summer, and most bus routes cease operation until the snow thaws in late May and early June.
Where to stay:
Whether you’re slipping between the sheets in one of Iceland’s four-star hotels or glimpsing the Northern Lights from an outdoor campsite, Iceland has hotels and guesthouses available to suit all tastes and budgets. During the summer months, when Iceland’s peak travel season is in full swing, hotels range $120/night to upwards of $300/night. However, Iceland accommodations come with amenities like free breakfasts and private hot-tubs. In the off-season winter months, hotels are considerably cheaper and room rates are discounted as much as 20 percent. Families booking Iceland hotels should ask about family discounts when calling for room rates – many of Iceland’s hotels offer room rate discounts for children.
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The following chart gives approximate journey times fromReykjavík
(in hours and minutes) to other major cities and towns in Iceland.
Iceland Travel Information
- Reykjavik is Europe’s northernmost capital city and draws thousands of tourists annually. To keep visitors coming back throughout the year, Iceland’s capital hosts a milieu of festivals that’ll keep the whole family entertained. If you were able to find a cheap flight to Iceland during the early days of summer, June is definitely a busy, fun-filled month for the Reykjavik visitor: The Festival of the Sea takes place in the first weekend in June, Iceland’s Independence Day is observed just two weeks later on June 17th, and the Summer Solstice is observed in the Viking village of Hafnarfjordur with rowdy revelry on June 21st.
- Nature buffs book flights to Iceland year-round, courtesy of the country’s natural wonders and breathtaking displays of natural beauty. Europe’s largest glacier is on the island of Vatnajökull and looms at an astounding 8,100-square kilometers. The volcanic landscapes of Glymsgil also make for excellent snow hikes and stunning photo ops.
- Looking for some tunes to drop on your iPod before the flight to Iceland? Download some Bjork before your trip! The talent of the innovative Icelandic singer and actress was nurtured in Reykjavik, and Bjork now has over 15 award nominations under her belt between Grammys, Golden Globes and an Academy Award nod.
- The Golden Circle route in southwestern Iceland is a must-see for all first-time Iceland visitors. Group tours by bus are available to those who don’t feel like getting behind the wheel themselves, and include visits to Þingvellir National Park, which is home to the ancient remains of Viking Parliament, and Gullfoss, also known as “the Golden Falls”.
- You don't need to pack an Icelandic-to-English dictionary for your Iceland flight: In Reykjavik English is widely spoken, but it might be a good idea to commit some commonly used phrases to memory if you're traveling outside the city:
Thank you: Takk
Where is Bjork: Hvar er Bjork?
I don't speak Icelandic: ég tala ekki íslensku
How do I get to...: Hvernig kemst ég til..
Where is the bathroom?: Hvar er salernið?